The Las Meninas Essay

The Las Meninas Essay

The Las Meninas or The Maids of Honor, a painting of Diego Velazquez is a complex work that has many interesting points in it. The most interesting part of the painting is probably the presence of Velazquez himself in the painting, to the left of the scene, being supported by an easel. He portrays himself with the Order of Santiago in the chest, which he eventually got three years after the painting was completed. The figure of infanta Margarita attains most importance, being positioned in the center. However, the mirror on the back wall has the reflected images of Philip IV and Mariana of Austria, his queen. The picture also has Nieto Velazquez, the queen’s chamberlain and as well head of the royal tapestry. The most interesting part is that critics are doubtful whether he is coming or going!

Robert Rauschenberg became famous for his controversial artwork of erasing one of the most admired drawings of William de Kooning. Although, most critics consider it scandalous to erase an original work of de Kooning, but Rauschenberg made a lot of difference to the world of artwork by creating a new art out of an original by “erasing it”. It took about two months and forty erasers of 15 different types to erase the painting that was made with ink and graphite. The erased art just has a few faint ink spots and solvent stains, and still looks as if freshly rubbed. The naming of the erased artwork is the most significant of all. Instead of naming it something else, Rauschenberg insisted in calling it “Erased de Kooning” which makes the original painting more popular although it no more exists. Although destructive in nature, but this rebellious attitude to the work of past ushered a new generation in painting.

Craft is basically a close ended activity with a formula or set of steps behind its making, and generally end up with more or less a similar product. Although it requires imagination and creation, craft is basically close ended because there isn’t much variation in the result that one can get. On the other hand, art is more open ended, with more emphasis on individual perception than the procedure. People creating an artwork might end up with extremely different results, even though they start with the same resources and topic.

Art can transcend the margin of reality to create an original piece of work, which may express something that the creator might want to say. Some crafts can also be regarded as art if the craftsman can bring it up to that level.

The ancient Japanese architecture is characterized by the wooden structures. The tradition of living in caves and stone dwellings has not been part of their ancient culture, and thus it marks the difference with the Western architecture, which has the vertical axis as its main façade. The wooden construction is a combination of beams and post, and therefore, the structure expands horizontally along the axis instead of going vertically. The Sumerian ziggurat also happens to prefer the horizontal axis. Ziggurat architecture is built on a rectangular, square or oval platform and with a pyramid structure on it. The top of the complete structure is flat, and is mostly inspired by the Japanese architecture, which is in existence before the Buddhist era in Japan. However, due to modernization, the Western and the Japanese structure have mixed up to make multi-storied structures with a horizontal base.

Generally, the spectator of an art is presented with a virtual space, which is different from his actual physical world. However, it is important to maintain the continuity between the image environment and the spectator surrounding. This is probably why naturalism is so favored in representational art. Here the physical and the virtual space combines to make a single coherent space. The art of simulation has been greatly influenced by the naturalness, as more and more aggressive ways of simulation are being developed. Wax museums and dioramas of natural museums.

Abstract painting, however, has been a part of contemporary drawing and is used in representational artworks besides the natural arts. For an instance, a wall painting may be an abstract form of representational act, defining the two spaces separately. On the converse, it could be the combination of two sources too, making it a natural art.

Surrealism requires the concerned work to carry a pinch of surprise in it, along with some unexpected juxtapositions. A written essay could well be an instance of surrealistic painting with more emphasis on the poetic undercurrents and overtones present in the text, rather than the literal meanings. This overtones and undercurrents can be regarded as the ambiguous association with most surreal visual images. There is a growing trend of visual images being linked with essays and vice versa. It is basically compared to a painting because of the flow associated with it. Much of the presented text is what comes out automatically and is generally a superficial comprehension of unorganized thoughts. The essays are generally accounts of dreams and automated works. Hence, the element of surprise is generally present in the essay, enabling it to be considered as a surrealistic painting.

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